Angoel (angoel) wrote,

Yesterday evening, accompanied by WildeAbandon, I went to the Globe for a telling of 'Timon of Athens'. Again, the theatre was struck by the malaise of excess stage redesign - this time a net was suspended across the auditorium upon which creditors crowlike perched and swooped, a wall was erected to reshape the stage, and a smoke-machine enabled bench strutted out from the stage.

Again, part of me cringed at the seeming desire for the Globe to reinvent itself as just another theatre with motile scenery. However, not so much as the other production I have seen this season - 'The Merry Wives of Windsor', because where the Merry Wives used it to add some unnecessary stage space, Timon used it to make the play spectacular.

Often, companies putting on plays employ a single dimension along the edge of the stage. Timon, on the other hand made full use of all possible space; above the audience, amongst the audience, upon the stage - and there was always something to be seen, physical expression of the comedy and drama at the heart of the play. The orgy scene in particular worked highly effectively, full of colour and geity and excess, and it's sharp contrast to the desolation that followed.

Timon, at heart not one of Shakespeare's most coherent plays. A character study of Timon before and after betrayal, while intriguing, not forming a sensible narrative. I suspect it probably needs something with this level of drama to hide away the seams in the plot. I think I therefore need to forgive it the non-Globe nature of the staging, and embrace the fact of it's existance. Because ultimately, it all worked. And ultimately, I do not imagine that my future years will discover any other production matching, let alone exceeding the effectiveness of this telling.
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